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Highly decorated, respected Hlompho finally calls it quits

Ex-Downs skipper to focus on his new-found role as TV pundit

Neville Khoza Journalist
Hlompho Kekana spent 10 years at Mamelodi Sundowns.
Hlompho Kekana spent 10 years at Mamelodi Sundowns.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Veteran midfielder Hlompho Kekana finally called time on his illustrious football career yesterday with immediate effect.

The 37-year-old was without a team after he left Mamelodi Sundowns in November last year. Kekana struggled to get new teams despite being linked with a move to Baroka, Cape Town City and AmaZulu, but nothing materialised.

He confirmed through his social media account yesterday that he will now venture into life after football as he calls time on a professional career that kick-started at Black Leopards in 2004.

Kekana, who also played for City Pillars, SuperSport United, Bloemfontein Celtic and Sundowns, won 14 trophies in total.

That includes eight league titles, a Champions League with Sundowns in 2016, two Telkom Knockouts, a CAF Super Cup and the Nedbank Cup.

The only trophy which eluded him is the MTN8, as Sundowns went on to win last season when he had already left.

He spent 10 years with Sundowns and will go down as one of Sundowns legends and their most successful captains in the PSL era.

Kekana says he will focus on his job as an analyst on SABC.

“It’s been an enjoyable journey, filled with so many highlights. My experiences from the day I left home as a kid up to now, have played a role in shaping the person I am,” Kekana said in a statement.

“And hopefully, my journey will inspire the next generation. This crazy boy from Zebediela won some trophies and was part of history-making squads.

“I’ve played with and been coached by some of SA’s best. I shared the field with the world’s best. I’ve lived the dream and I hope that the kids in the villages will look at me and know that they should dream, that there is greatness in every one of them.

“I know everyone will ask what is next. I am enjoying my work at SABC and I am putting together my next set of dreams and seeing what opportunities arise.”

Meanwhile, Sundowns defender Divine Lunga has returned to Golden Arrows on a season loan, the club confirmed yesterday. Lunga, 27, joined Downs from Arrows ahead of the 2021/22 season but couldn’t secure a starting spot at Masandawana.

Kekana’s illustrious career

Appearances: 515

Trophies: 14 (8 leagues; 2 Nedbank; 2 TKO; 1 CAF CL; 1 CAF Super Cup)

Goals: 41

Assists: 25

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